Google has snapped up the digital photo editing service Snapseed as part of its effort to compete against Facebook‘s online social network.
Snapseed is the centerpiece of Google’s acquisition of Nik Software, which developed the service’s photo-editing technology.
The deal announced Monday gives Google a popular service that competes against Facebook’s Instagram, whose tools are widely used to display, touch up and share photos taken on smartphones and tablet computers.
Facebook bought Instagram for $715 million in a deal that closed last month.
Google didn’t disclose the terms of the Nik Software acquisition.
Snapseed could be used to increase usage of Google Plus, a social networking alternative to Facebook.
Although it has grown rapidly since its debut nearly 15 months ago, Google Plus is still experimenting with different features aimed at getting Web surfers to check into the service more frequently.
Google Plus now has about 400 million accountholders, according to a post Monday by Vic Gundotra, a Google executive who oversees the service. About 100 million users come to Google Plus each month, Gundotra said. Facebook boasts 955 million active users.
Nik Software says more than 9 million people use Snapseed’s application for the iPhone and iPad.
iPhone and iPad maker Apple, named Snapseed as its “application of the year” in 2011.
Nik Software is based in San Diego, nearly 500 miles away from Google’s Mountain View headquarters.